#65 – The Pharisee’s Ballad – Christopher Cunningham

“Eli, my son,” came papa’s voice,
“Come hear the scriptures and rejoice.”
He took the scrolls and let them spread,
“‘For unto us,” my papa read,
“a child is born, a son is giv’n
and from him our faces are hid’n.
he’s born our grief, took our sorrows,
This surely is the Lord of Hosts.’
Eli, he’s coming stealthfully.
You must watch for him carefully.”

My childhood slipped into the past;
I was a grown up much too fast.
My time had come to choose a path;
I took the scriptures as my map.
I set my sights to teach the Jews,
So all could say, the law, they knew.
The temple, then, became my home;
I worked and learned, so I would grow.
The Elders were much pleased with me,
so I became a Pharisee.

That’s when a rumor spread abroad,
Jesus claimed he was Son of God.
When I met with the Pharisees,
we declared it was blasphemy.
I went out to the countryside
to see that man who healed the blind.
I was there when the Sabbath came,
and in the church a man was lame.
Then Jesus healed the man I saw,
not caring for the Sabbath law.

Some years passed by, I heard no more
from he who claimed he was Lord.
When on the streets, a crowd rushed by
“Jesus is coming!” was their cry.
I followed to the city’s gate,
where far away I saw his face.
He ignored the law in the past,
now dared to ride in on an ass.
The people bowed and waved with leaves,
the whole scene truly sickened me.

I screamed back to the Pharisees,
“That man is here.  It’s blasphemy!”
I told them of his arrogance,
his claim to be God was enough.
To catch him at night was the plan.
We got the coins.  We bought our man.
Judas took us to where he prayed.
They cut our guard; his ear was maimed.
Then Jesus spoke, and healed the ear;
our courts and Kings he did not fear.

The night was long, he moved about
from prince to prince and house to house.
Soon Pilate stood atop the crowd,
he showed us Christ, then bellowed loud,
“What should I do?  This man’s guilt free.”
I felt he asked it right to me.
My voice rang out above the din,
my indictment, “Crucify Him!”
They took him to Golgotha’s hill,
where Jesus would finally be killed.

I saw them raise him up the cross.
They nailed his feet, his final stop.
Atop the cross I read the sign,
“King of the Jews,” surely not mine.
“Father forgive,” He looked at me,
“He does not understand his deed.”
Then to John, “Behold your Mother.”
His dying words were still tender?
His spirit left; the ground quaked strong.
The Earth knew that Jesus was gone.

I left the scene but felt confused.
Could all he said really be true?
My father’s words came back to me,
“The Lord will appear stealthfully.
He’s borne our grief, took our sorrows,
this surely is the Lord of Hosts.”
Could I have really killed the Lamb?
The Son of God, the Great I Am?
He did not seem like other men;
his perfection transcended them.

The question did not leave my mind;
some days passed by.  I felt so blind.
When on the streets, I passed a friend.
He said some claimed Christ lived again.
I shouted out, “It must be true!
He is the Lord!” I felt I knew.
He looked and said, “You can’t believe.”
That single stance would ruin me.
My heart went strong; I said with might,
“The Son of God is Jesus Christ.”

~ Christopher Cunningham, San Antonio, Texas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s